Weekly recipes for March 7, 2012
Orange-Poppy seed Hamantashen Cookies
Start to finish: 2 hours 40 minutes (40 minutes active). Makes about 30 cookies.
1 cup powdered sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces, softened
Grated zest of 1 large orange
Half of a 12 1/2-ounce can poppy seed cake and pastry filling
1 large egg, beaten
In a food processor, combine the powdered sugar, flour, salt, egg yolks, butter and orange zest. Pulse until a dough forms. Remove the dough from the processor and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day.
Heat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out to 1/4 -inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter or clean drinking glass, cut the dough into 2 1/2-inch circles. With the tip of your finger, moisten the rim of each circle with water.
Place 1 teaspoon of poppy seed filling at the center of each circle. Form triangular cookies by folding the sides up over the filling, leaving the center uncovered. Pinch together the three corners. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Brush the outsides of the cookies with the beaten egg.
Bake until the edges are lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Nutrition information per cookie (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 130 calories; 60 calories from fat (49 percent of total calories); 7 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 35 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 0 g fiber; 10 mg sodium.
Turkish Red Lentil Balls
If you can't find harissa (a North African chili paste), substitute any of the chili-garlic pastes you find in the grocer's international aisle.
Start to finish: 1 hour. Makes about 32 lentil balls.
1 cup uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup fine bulgur, uncooked
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon harissa (red chili) paste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 scallions, finely sliced
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
Boston or butter lettuce, torn into thirty 2-by-2-inch pieces
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 15 minutes. Mix in the bulgur, cover the pot and remove from the heat. Let the mixture rest until the residual liquid is absorbed by the bulgur, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium, heat the oil. Add the onions and saute until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in the harissa and cumin, then cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside.
Once the lentils and bulgur are cooked (the mixture should be moderately moist like dough), add to the reserved onion mixture along with most of the scallions and parsley (reserving just enough for garnish). Season with salt and pepper, then mix well. The lentil mixture should resemble thick dough. If it still seems too damp, add more bulgur and let the mixture rest until the bulgur is no longer hard, about another 15 minutes.
Keeping your hands wet, mold about 1 heaping tablespoon of the lentil mixture into football-shaped balls. Place each ball in one of the lettuce pieces and arrange on a serving platter. Garnish with the remaining scallions and parsley and drizzle with additional olive oil. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.
Nutrition information per ball (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 45 calories; 15 calories from fat (29 percent of total calories); 2 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 6 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 2 g fiber; 65 mg sodium.
Grilled Flank Steak with Pepita-Cilantro Sauce
Start to finish: 20 minutes, plus marinating. Servings: 4
For the steaks:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds flank steaks
For the sauce:
1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
1/2 cup toasted pepitas
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the steaks, turn to coat, then refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to several hours). To make the sauce, in a food processor combine the parsley, cilantro, pepitas, olive oil, vinegar, oregano, cumin, salt, garlic and red pepper flakes. Process for 2 to 3 minutes, or until very smooth. Set aside.
When ready to cook, heat a grill to high. Remove the steaks from the marinade, then grill for 7 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the steaks across the grain into thin slices. Serve topped with the sauce.
This bold sauce is inspired by chimichurri. The steak can be served alone with the sauce, or thinly sliced over toasted bread.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 750 calories; 500 calories from fat (67 percent of total calories); 55 grams fat (11 grams saturated; 0 grams trans fats); 75 milligrams cholesterol; 6 grams carbohydrate; 55 grams protein; 2 grams fiber; 740 milligram sodium.
Rainbow Trout with Flaxseed Crust
Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: 25 minutes. Servings: 4.
4 fresh rainbow trout fillets, about 6 ounces each
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup whole ground flaxseed meal
1/2 to 1 teaspoon mixed rainbow peppercorns, coarsely ground
1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 3/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the fillets skin side down on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Brush with the olive oil. Mix remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt with the flaxseed meal, ground peppercorns and rosemary in a small bowl. Taste for seasoning; you may like more salt, rosemary or peppercorns to flavor the flaxseed meal. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the fish, covering the surface completely as if breading, but don't dip the fillets. (You may need more flaxseed mixture, depending on the size of your fillets.) Gently pat mixture into the fish with your palms or a fork.
Bake 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven; allow fish to cool so that flavors settle, 5 minutes. The crust will be moist, not hard, with a crunchy texture and a dark golden brown color.
Nutrition information: Per serving: 295 calories, 17 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 90 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams carbohydrates, 31 grams protein, 512 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.